Bridging Writers Author Series




Bridging Writers Author Series
2016-2017

PLEASE SEE INDIVIDUAL EVENTS FOR TIMES AND LOCATIONS
For questions, contact us at 7bridgewriterscollaborative@gmail.com

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 Monday, September 5, 2016


   (NO READING, Labor Day)

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Monday, October 3, 2016 
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

  Cal Armistead: Being Henry David




Seventeen-year-old "Hank" has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything--who he is, where he came from, why he's running  away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau.  And so he becomes Henry David--or "Hank"--and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of--Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead's remarkable debut novel about a teen in search of himself. As Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past he realizes that the only way he can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past to   stop running and find his way home.


Cal Armistead has been a writer since age 9, when she submitted her first book, The Poor Macaroni Named Joany to a publisher. Sadly, this literary gem did not make it to print. But Cal continued pursuing her lifelong passion, and wrote copiously for radio, newspapers and magazines (Cal has been published in The Chicago TribuneShape MagazineBody & Soul MagazineChristian Science             MonitorChicken Soup for Every Mom’s Soul and others). Although it took years for Cal to try her hand again at fiction writing, her first young adult novel (Being Henry David) was published by Albert Whitman & Co. in March,2013. Cal holds an MFA in creative writing from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine, works at an independent book store, is a voice-over actress,             sings semi-professionally, and lives in a Boston suburb with her amazing husband and a dog named Layla.




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 Monday November 7, 2016 
 6:30 -8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

           
            Howard Mansfield: Dwelling in Possibility: 
Searching for the Soul of Shelter




The mystery that attracts Howard Mansfield’s attention is that some houses have life—are home, are dwellings, and others aren’t. Dwelling, he says, is an old-fashioned word that we’ve misplaced.

When we live heart and soul, we dwell. When we belong to a place, we dwell. Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law, but it is also what too many    houses and towns lack. We are not possessed by our home places. This lost quality of dwelling—the soul of buildings—haunts most of our houses and our landscape.

Dwelling in Possibility is a search for the ordinary qualities that make some houses a home, and some public places welcoming.

           
Howard Mansfield sifts through the commonplace and the forgotten to discover stories that tell us about ourselves and our place in the world. He writes about history, architecture, and preservation. He is the author of seven books, including In the Memory House, The Bones of the Earth, and most recently, Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter which The Boston Globe called “a wholly original meditation … that’s part observation of the contemporary built environment, part cultural history, part philosophical account, and at times something like a Whitmanian poetic survey.”  His newest book, Sheds, with photographer Joanna Eldredge Morrissey, was published in June 2016.

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 Monday, December 5, 2016
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

       Mary Bonina  – My Father’s Eyes





Literary Nonfiction. Memoir. Set mid-to-late 20th century (with the heart of the   book set in the 1950s and '60s), MY FATHER'S EYES is a loving daughter's memoir of a family coming to terms with a legacy of blindness, and a father's heroic efforts to secure independence and dignity.

  "Not many pages into this gloriously moving book, a feeling begins to grow that it would have been a humbling yet exquisite experience to have sat and talked with Biagio John Bonina. What his daughter Mary Bonina has given us is a solid and lasting portrait of a man who was simple and complicated. (That is not a  contradiction once you come to know him.)... America is a country of grand men  and women who live on a modest scale, and no one fits that category more than he does. Once his eyes began to fail him, he lived even more for his family and its welfare and his efforts and work make him in my mind, the kind of real hero we fail to glorify anymore. So enter this book and come to know her father and his dedicated overwhelmingly loyal daughter, as well as a large stage of family  members and friends who are unforgettable and insanely knowable and    human."—Edward P. Jones

 "Mary Bonina casts her considerable spell with exquisite sentences and unerring evocative details. She is a writer of inordinate compassion, formidable intelligence, and unflinching honesty. MY FATHER'S EYES documents a family's coming to grips with the legacy of blindness, a daughter's unflagging allegiance to her father, and one man's heroic determination to live a life of independence and quiet dignity despite obstacles that would crush the strongest of us. The book is an inspiration. When I finished reading it, I walked around for days seeing the world through its lens. Yes, it's that good. It's that important."—John Dufresne


Mary Bonina has published poetry, memoir, and fiction. Her latest collection of  poetry, Clear Eye Tea, is now available (Cervena Barva Press, 2010). She isalso the author of Living Proof, a chapbook (Cervena Barva Press, 2007).    

 Bonina grew up in Worcester, Massachusetts. She holds an MFA degree in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, where her mentors were some of  the best known and appreciated American contemporary prose writers and poets.

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Monday, January 1, 2017

     (NO READING – New Year’s Day, observed)

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  Monday, February 6, 2017 
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

      John Bell – The Road to Concord




J. L. Bell is a writer from Newton specializing in the start of the American Revolution. He shares his work and other Revolutionary news through daily  updates on his website, Boston1775.net. John has published numerous articles about the Boston Massacre, the experiences of children in the ten years before the war, and related topics. He has also written a book-length study of Gen. George Washington’s work in Cambridge for the National Park Service. He is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Revolution and assistant editor of the Colonial Comics series. 

The Road to Concord is a new look at the start of the Revolutionary War, tracing the genesis of the fateful British march in April 1775 to little-known events of the preceding September. In that month a militia uprising in the Massachusetts countryside set off an “arms race” for artillery. Men on each side of the conflictgrabbed any cannon they could find in shore batteries, ships, and merchants’    stores. In the most daring action, Bostonians stole four small cannons from militia armories under redcoat guard, hid them in a public school, smuggled them into the countryside, and eventually moved them to Concord—where a spy located them for the royal governor. The Road to Concord is the first book to tell the full story of those cannon.  

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 Monday, March 6, 2017
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

     Ursula Wong – Amber Wolf




Ludmelia Kudirka is running for her life.

When the brutal Russian soldiers invade 1940’s Lithuania, they ravage the  countryside and the people. After her mother is murdered, young Ludmelia Kudirka flees to the safety of the forest. Vowing vengeance, she joins the partisans fighting for freedom in a David-and-Goliath struggle against the mighty Soviet war machine.

A Russian officer ordered to crush the partisans becomes enraged by Ludmelia’s escape, and the guerrilla warfare that is harassing his forces. Marshaling his killer instincts, he pursues Ludmelia and her fellow warriors into the dark forest, where he encounters something he never expected.

Ursula Wong lived and worked on the family dairy farm started by her grandparents, who fled Eastern Europe and the Bolsheviks for a better life in the U.S. After losing her father as a young girl, Ursula overcame poverty and went on to become a high tech engineer. An adventurous traveler, scuba diver, and hiker, Ursula writes gripping stories about strong women struggling against impossible odds to achieve their dreams. Her work has appeared in Everyday Fiction, Spinetingler Magazine, and the popular Insanity Tales anthologies. 

Her award-winning novel, Purple Trees, exposes a dark side of rural New England life. It's the story of a na├»ve girl who loses her parents, and grows up fast to find work and build a future, when the weight of the past threatens everything she loves. 

Ursula taps her heritage in her upcoming WW II novel, Amber Wolf. Destitute after her parents are taken by Russian soldiers, young Ludmelia Kudirka joins the farmers fighting for freedom in a David-and-Goliath struggle against the mighty Soviet war machine. Rich with scenes and legends      of Lithuania, Amber Wolf will be available on Amazon in 2016.

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National Poetry Month 

 Monday, April 3, 2017
 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

    Christian Reifsteck – Turning Turf





In Turning Turf, poet and photographer Christian Reifsteck considers themes of   decay, rupture, and  sacrilege, suturing, healing, and grace within the framework of the Irish practice of harvesting turf. In Ireland, harvesting turf has traditionally involved cutting sod from the bog, laying it out to dry and turning it periodically,  and then burning it for fuel. The poems and photographs in this impassioned collection guide the reader into the depths of life and soul to cut, turn, dry, and  eventually burn the turf contained deep within us.

 Christian Reifsteck’s work has appeared in numerous journals both online and in  print. He holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Vermont and teaches in Massachusetts. Turning Turf is his first book.

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 Monday, May 1, 2017
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

            Paul Hertneky – Rust Belt Boy: Stories of an American Childhood




In Paul Hertneky’s RUST BELT BOY: Stories of an American Childhood the author counts himself among the millions of Baby Boomers who fled the industrial north upon fulfilling their parents’ dreams of a college education, leaving behind a rich cultural legacy that has all but disappeared.

Over twenty-five years, Paul Hertneky has written stories, essays, and scripts for the  Boston Globe, Athens News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette New Hampshire Union Leader, NBC News, The Comedy Channel, Gourmet, Eating Well, Traveler’s Tales, The Exquisite Corpse, National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Adbusters and many more. His work centers on culture, food, industry, the environment, and travel, winning him a Solas Award, and two James Beard Award nominations. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, he serves on the faculty of Chatham University.

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 Monday, June 5, 2017
6:30 – 8:00 PM
Thayer Memorial Library

      Steve Huff - Don’t Go To Jail




Author Steve Huff has written for several outlets, including the New York Observer, Crime Watch Daily, and MAXIM Magazine. For Village Voice Media, Steve launched one of the first popular true crime blogs, True Crime Report. He has appeared on CBS's 48 Hours Mystery, HLN, MSNBC and NBC's Dateline as a commentator on high-profile crimes in the news. In April 2016 Thomas Dunne Books and Macmillan Entertainment published Steve's DON'T GO TO JAIL! Saul Goodman's Guide to Keeping the Cuffs Off, an official tie-in to the hit AMC series Better Call Saul. Steve is currently at work on his second book for the same publisher. He lives with his family in Worcester, Massachusetts.



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